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Meet Lightfoot’s rumored challengers

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


While Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in New York likely working on her not-yet-announced re-election campaign, we’re looking at possible challengers in the 2023 race. 

One hot-button issue connecting the rumored candidates? Crime

After leaving his roles as U.S. Secretary of Education and CPS CEO, Arne Duncan has primarily focused on the violence prevention group CRED that he founded. 

The former Obama cabinet member has disagreed with Lightfoot’s public safety strategy, from the first-term mayor’s proposal to go after gangs’ assets to the size of the Chicago Police Department, according to WTTW.

Paul Vallas, former city budget director and another ex-CPS CEO, is a possible law-and-order candidate emerging, according to Chicago magazine. Vallas, who got 5% of the vote when he ran against Lightfoot in 2019, has been seen at pro-police rallies and penning critical op-eds.

The only candidate officially declared? The president of the city’s largest police union John Catanzara, who is raising member dues to create a political action committee, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

Who knows what can happen in a year? The mayoral election is Feb. 28, 2023.

We asked, you answered: How would you reimagine Museum Campus

Well, you wouldn’t. At least reader Garry Jaffe told us he wouldn’t. “Just leave it alone!”

Pic 1: Chin Foin poses alone in a suit. Pic 2: Chin Foin poses with his family. All dressed in western clothes.
Chin Foin and his family. (Images provided by Nancy Wang)

A few days ago, I told you all about the legacy of Chin Foin, the restaurateur who helped popularize Chinese food, and his sudden mysterious death. 

Today, granddaughter Nancy Wang joins us on the podcast to explain how she began investigating Chin’s life, why she wrote a play about his death, and how you can tell your own family’s story.

👉 Keep an eye out for the premiere of Wang’s play “Shadows & Secrets.”


▪️ Nothing like a “mixed bag of weather” — snow, sleet, heavy rain, and wind — to look forward to over the next few days. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ An independent commission supported the Latino Caucus’s proposal — a big win in the ongoing remapping saga. [WTTW]

▪️ Here is your comprehensive guide to Cook County judicial elections. [Injustice Watch, WBEZ]

▪️ Take a sneak peek at the Obama Museum 👀 [People]

▪️ You might not have seen the Pigeon Lady, but you’ve probably heard of her. Now, go on the journey to find her. [Chicago Reader]


Chicago, are you worried about our democracy in America? If you read the City Cast newsletter, then you’re most likely a very engaged citizen. Democracy is in danger and needs your help now more than ever.

That’s why The Democracy Group has created a community and network of 16 podcasts united around the goal of helping listeners understand what’s broken in our democracy, and how people are working together to fix it.

Subscribe to their newsletter for podcast recommendations, deep dives, and information about how to become an engaged citizen in saving our democracy.

Side-by-side photos of an animated rendering of a Chinese restaurant sign and the real-life sign.
Credit: u/Ginamyte06 Reddit

Speaking of Chinese restaurants, it looks like “Bob’s Burgers” paid homage to Won Kow, Chinatown’s oldest restaurant that closed in 2018. 

The restaurant, which was open for 90 years, also allegedly served Al Capone. He apparently had his own table in the northwest corner of Won Kow. 

And if you’re asking yourself, “Sid, what episode?” I think it’s season 3 episode 13, titled “My Fuzzy Valentine.” But if you know for sure, let me — and the people — know! (I can only ask my brother for so many of his streaming passwords 🥲)

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